Saturday, July 9, 2011

Day 4...Kayaking, Wave Runners, Swimming...and Key West

We are so gonna need a few days to recover from this trip.

This morning, we had reservations to kayak at 11.  We had long discussed how to manage the kayaks...we decided that if we used 4 doubles, then neither Will nor the littles would need to kayak alone.  So we teamed up Andrew with William (He has the most muscle so if he had to paddle alone then he was best equipped to handle Will.), Chris with Benjamin, Billy with Camden, and I had Caroline.

Justin, the watersports manager, had an amazingn sense of humor and entertained the kids while he was fitting us with life jackets.  He recommended that we head south first since the wind was light.  We did...and it was way too easy.  Of course, that meant that we were paddling with the current first...which is never my first choice.  We made it down to the 7 Mile Bridge, and I had the brilliant idea of going around the bridge piling to turn around and head back. 

That defines blonde moments. The 7 Mile Bridge is where the Atlantic and the Gulf meet at the end of Marathon Island.  That means that you have currents colliding...and since the tide was going out, the current was pulling us into the Atlantic...provided we didn't hit the bridge piling.

I was able to let Andrew and Chris know to turn around, but Billy chose to pass under the bridge to turn around.  I was way too busy trying to avoid the piling and attempting to make forward progress...I was paddling for all I was worth, but I was going  literally nowhere.

Someone mentioned today that maybe me and tidal waters should not be mixed. :)  Caroline was totally wigging, and I was just totally focused on getting us out of the situation I had unwittingly created.  Fortunately, the boys had enough upper body strength and were not as close to the piling as I was, so they were able to get clear a little faster.  It took a lot of muscle and sheer grit and determination, but we made it.  I was really glad that I had not gone for my run this morning.  I needed all the energy I could muster.  I think it is time to seriously hit the gym and build some of that upper body strength before I decide to take on tidal waters again.

When we returned, we told Justin about where we went, and he said, "You aren't supposed to go to the bridge.  The current there is too strong."  Really?  We hadn't noticed.  :)

The kids were starving, so Billy ran to the grocery store for some more lunch materials, we made sandwiches, and hung out at the pool.  About 3 this afternoon, Billy went back to the water sports tent and rented 3 wave runners which are like jet skis on steroids.  3 people can ride each one.  So, Andrew took Ben and Will, I had Caroline and Chris, and Billy took Camden with him and we had an absolute blast.  There is nothing quite like skimming the water at 50 mph. 

About 4:30 we decided that heading to Key West might not be a bad idea.  When you are all of an hour from the southernmost point in the continental US, then maybe you should go...and go in time for the sunset.  So we dashed through showers and headed out.

Wow.  It was crazy.  This is considered off season down here, and if this is off season, I have no desire to find out what it is like in prime season.  There were people everywhere!  However, the sunset was spectacular, the entertainment at Mallory Square was fabulous, and the evening was memorable.  We stopped at Amigos Tortilla Bar for dinner.  It was crazy loud and unbelievably busy, but the food was way too voluminous and it was amazingly good.  Oh, and their margarita was fabulous.

We did find the monument for the southernmost point, took a picture, and are now headed back to Marathon with some incredibly exhausted children.  I am utilizing my phone as a hot spot because as soon as I get Will's IV going, I would love to be asleep.  Tomorrow we plan to hang out at the pool with the kids and pack in preparation for returning home on Monday.

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